“One of the best investment I made is a wedding ring.” – Warren Buffett
One of the few hobbies and quality time I spend with my girlfriend is watching movies. On November 17 (Saturday), I ask her to marry me during the movie trailers as we watch Bohemian Rhapsody. On our seat, while I whisper to her ears the question and showing her a ring in a dark movie theatre, I asked the question… She was speechless and tears flowing down her face. After 2 or 3 trailers, and after wiping her tears, she said “Yes”.
I guess, I’m gonna start a new chapter of my life soon. And the wedding has been all the talk lately. What surprised me was the price of a wedding that I was totally caught off guard.
The quote for the wedding was 250k. This was without the wedding gowns yet and my attire for the event. If all of those was included, the expense could ramp up to 500k.
So I asked my friends who recently got married. They said they spent 450k for a wedding. Another friend said they spent more than 500k for their wedding. For a 150 guests and all the bells and whistles of a “decent” wedding, you have to spend P500,000. This is without yet the wedding ring and without the cost of the honeymoon.
HOLY SHI***T! I said. Shall we put that in perspective?
The Real Cost of Weddings
How can a simple and solemn event became consumed? Warren Buffett had a simple wedding, a billionare, who only had 10 people in his wedding, he never fed them in a reception, and never had a party after. Just him and his bride, Susie, after the ceremony, changed their clothes and off to the airport they go. No party afterwards.
You may be saying that this billionaire is living in a different era. Well no, he re-married and still the same happened. Not in a church now, but in his living room witnessed by a few handful of close friends. Now why is that? Because we don’t need to spend so much for the wedding.
How much are we really losing if we spend 500k on a wedding?
Ok, let’s say you have 500k. And you have 2 choices for that.
- Spend it all on a wedding.
- Invest the money for the future.
If you spend the money on a wedding, you’ll get “memories”, nice pictures. That’s basically it.. And you lost 500k.
If you invest that money, in 10 years, that money would have grown into P2,022,778.87. And in 20 years, P8,183,268.70.
What does that mean? It means, when you spend 500k on a wedding, you just killed a golden goose. You didn’t just lost 500k, you just lost P8.1Million. And you need to earn 8.1million in 20 years just to break even.
P8.1 Million can be used to spend for your children, grandchildren or a comfortable retirement, travel the world, provide a decent income forever. It can be given as a gift, or as a help to people who needs financial support. Given to charity. With a wedding, you just spent it on a one day event, that you will soon forget, if not for the wedding pictures and wedding videos.
But, does it really matter?
A friend of mine, upon me, saying that, “Dude, with 500k, it could have grown to 8.1million pesos in 20 years. Hindi ka ba nagsisisi?”, he answered – “Hindi. Hindi mo naman madadala sa hukay ang pera mo.”
I was surprised by this answer. Because its not very common for my friends to become philosophical at convenient times. I’m the philosophical of the bunch. So I just used the Socratic method and asked, “Yung wedding pictures, wedding rings, or marriage contract ba, madadala sa hukay?”
The thing is, nothing in this world we can take to the after life. That goes for money or experiences or pieces of paper. But my only point is that, after being married, its a very long time until we die (hopefully) and that money can change your future and will affect if you’ll have a comfortable future or not. If you spend that amount of money in one day and you’re not even rich, you are asking your future old self to fuck off and do his best to make ends meet the best he can while being less younger. Basically, you are giving your future self a problem and assuming that he can solve it, while your present self will use the money to satisfy whatever dreams you think a wedding should look like.
Upon realising this, I immediately talked to my fiancée. Like all women, she doesn’t seem to care if we spend that amount (meaning me).
The problem lies in that women want to spend. They want to spend a huge amount for a day where they can experience being a princess. At the cost of the man financing that one day event.
I love my fiancée. And I think we are making a huge financial mistake. But its something that I have no control over. If I can’t convince her, this might be one of those things where I know that the expenses doesn’t make any financial sense, yet I still will have to go through it.
If there are young men reading this, get a girl where she doesn’t have a dream of being a princess in her wedding day. I just recently learned of it too late. That doesn’t mean that I would avoid a girl like my fiancee upon knowing, its just that, I could have soften her up to the wedding idea before actually asking her. We might have had a chance of not spending an arm or a leg for a one day event. Imagine that, adding more flowers to the wedding will cost me P25,000 more? WTF, the flower costs more than my honeymoon trip.